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Christine T. O. Nguyen, Algis J. Vingrys, Bang V. Bui; Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Ganglion Cell Function. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(8):3586-3594. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-1735.
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purpose. Diet-induced deficiencies in Omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids are well known to alter photoreceptor function. In this study, the broader functional changes in a diversity of retinal neurons were considered.
methods. Sprague-Dawley dams were fed either ω-3-sufficient (ω-3+, n = 21) or -deficient (ω-3−, n = 19) diets 5 weeks before conception, with the pups continued on the mothers’ diet. After 20 weeks of age, electroretinograms (ERGs) were recorded by using protocols that isolate separate cellular generators, including; photoreceptors (PIII), ON-bipolar cells (PII), and ganglion/amacrine cells (STR). At the brightest energies, rod and cone responses were isolated with a paired-flash paradigm. Retinal tissue (ω-3+, n = 5; ω-3−, n = 5) was harvested at 23 weeks of age for fatty acid assays with thin layer and gas liquid chromatography.
results. Omega-3 deficiency caused a 48.6% decrease in total retinal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This change induced significant amplitude decreases only in the rod PII (−8.2%) and positive (p)STR components (−27.4%), with widespread delays in all signals (PIII 5.7%, PII 13.6%, pSTR 7.6%, and negative [n]STR 8.3%). Omega-3 deficiency exerted its greatest effects on signals originating in the inner retina (pSTR).
conclusions. Increasing dietary ω-3 has beneficial effects across the retina, with the greatest improvement occurring in ganglion cell function.
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